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Print Book 1 of the webcomic "Not A Villain" which is about a wanted, semi-reformed hacker who lives in a virtual reality.
Print Book 1 of the webcomic "Not A Villain" which is about a wanted, semi-reformed hacker who lives in a virtual reality.
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148 backers pledged $9,207 to help bring this project to life.

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Loading....WOM Virus...

Posted by Aneeka (Creator)

Okay! Now that the "Virus" has been officially introduced into the story, I was thinking we could try our hand at becoming a virus ourselves. But we'll call ourselves the "WOM" virus: the word-of-mouth virus about Not A Villain.

You've got to admit that sounds pretty cool. And we'll have to be a fast-moving virus since we only got 12 days left of this Kickstarter before we get shut down. 

The Plan:

It's fairly easy, really. Spread the word about my webcomic and get your friends, family, acquaintances, and random strangers to read the story. It's free and accessible pretty much from anywhere with an internet connection.  If they like the story, great! Then they know exactly what they're going to get when they hop on over to this Kickstarter. If they don't like it, could hit them on the head? (I'm kidding).

The Goal:

Every virus needs a purpose -- a reason to exist -- and so your reason will be to get more updates on Not A Villain. Yep, you read that right. When we reach 100 total backers, you'll get one extra story update. When we gain another 50 backers, you'll get another extra update and so on. So you can end up with a week or more of daily (well, weekday daily) updates of Not A Villain.

The extra updates will start the day after the Kickstarter successfully ends (meaning, Wed, June 20th). So, for example, if our cool WOM virus succeeds in gathering up to 150 total backers, there will be an update that week on Wed AND Thurs, plus the usual Tues and Fri. Yep, a 4-day update week. And if we get up to 200, then you'll get a 3-day update the following week (the extra update will go up on Thursday). 250 backers and you'll be seeing two 4-day update weeks in a row.

What do you all think? Think we can make this WOM virus pretty effective? Then let's do it!

New Rewards!

Posted by Aneeka (Creator)

Since my higher tiers have been filling up faster than expected (you're all amazing!!) and people have been asking about it, I have brainstormed for bigger rewards. I can't really offer more background cameos so I decided to go in a different direction.

Full comic pages!

You get to dictate their content and I'll print it out, sign it, and send it to you with your book. I'll also release it as a digital download to all the other backers as exclusive Kickstarter content. Now, I'm not the fastest artist around so these rewards are heavily limited so get them while you can!

For $500 - I'll draw one full comic page of your choice of content (L.i.F.e. only. No Reality). I can draw you exploring L.i.F.e or you can interact with any of my characters (including the blobs, if you wish!). You can ask them a question, give them a piece of your mind, or go all otaku (ie: I'm your super-duper-number-one-fan!) on them. If you want a serious response, the characters will stay in-character, but if you specify for a spoof, then the characters can break the 4th wall and know they're a character in a story (kind of like how I do my incentives). They'll still stay relatively in character, but will be able to say and do things that they can't (or won't) do in the main story.

All backers will get a digital version but you'll get a signed printed version plus your name on the Thank You page, a signed copy of the printed book, a small sketch of your character or one of my characters, and a signed print.

Please note: You can ask for spoilers but I probably won't give a straight answer. I might do hints, though...

Also, if you hold a blob or Game blob spot and want this reward but don't want to lose your coveted spot, bump your pledge to $600 and pm me (ie: send me a private message) and I'll write it down in my notes.

For $700 - I'll draw one full page of you fighting in the Game Trials (or Game practices)! You can design your character to look as bizarre as you want, assuming it's tasteful and I can draw it. You can combat against Danni, the Bandit, Kleya, or even the Angus twins. If you want it to be cannon (serious), then you'll have to lose unless you go against the Angus twins. But if you request a spoof, then you can win! Except against Kleya. Sorry, she doesn't like to lose, even in a spoof.

Please note: If you want a Special, bump your pledge by $100. Specials are complicated and I'll have to make sure it both fits within all the rules as well as show it off in one page.

If you hold a Game blob spot and want your fight with Kleya expanded, bump your pledge to $850 and pm me so I can keep track of your request. If you want to have a Special, there are only two spots available (assuming you want this to be cannon). Bump your pledge by another $100 and include that in your pm to me. First come, first serve.

All backers will get a digital version but you'll get a signed printed version plus your name on the Thank You page, a signed copy of the printed book, a small sketch of your character or one of my characters, and a signed print.

For $1000 - Get a background cameo in Book 2!  There's a crowd scene coming up after the Game Trials is finished and that's where you'll probably show up. Also, you'll get the same as the $500 reward except it'll be TWO pages. You can ask for more world-building details to be shown or interact with any of my characters and pester them with questions. Let me know if you want it to be serious or a spoof.

For $2000 - Everything in the $1000 reward except you'll get FOUR pages now. You can ask several questions to any of my character(s), explore more parts of L.i.F.e., request a scene where two characters have to interact with each, or something entirely else. PM me if you want to discuss any of your ideas and see if I can do them.

Obligatory disclaimer: I reserve the right to refuse to draw anything I'm uncomfortable with. If you're unsure if I'd draw it, pm me and we can discuss the details.

And it gets even better.

If we reach $10,000, I'll add in the Annie side story rewards which are:

$300 - Show up as background cameo in Annie's Side story. Limit 2(ish)

$400 - Show up as a background cameo in Annie's Side story AND Kleya's Side story. Limit 2(ish)

$3000 - Be a minor character with speaking parts in Annie's Story. Limit 1

I'll expand more on these later but I thought I'd put them out just in case.

Now let's talk about timing.

I've set these all for November to give me enough room to get them done without affecting the main story's update schedule. Realistically, I'll probably end up releasing them as they're completed so you'll get some sooner than others. Once I get the book sent to the printer, I'll then turn my time to getting these extra stories done, starting with the lower pledges first.

Progress Update! 57%!!

Here's the updated concept sketch:

We've got two weeks left and we're almost hitting 60%! This is amazing!! You're all fantastic! Thank you so much! Keep spreading the word and let's see how high we can get this week!

Process Shot

Posted by Aneeka (Creator)

I hope I'm not jinxing myself but since we're over 50% (54%!!), I've started drawing out the short story of Kleya that'll be included in the printed book. I scripted and thumbnailed it weeks ago but decided to wait before completing it. But hey, now I can share the process of it!

First, the thumbnail of the first panel:

As you can see, I'm going for epic! ...okay, I'm just going for better backgrounds, but that's epic for me. There are also quick scrawls showing where some people will be standing. I'm mainly exploring how to draw the setting however, since this is the Napping area which hasn't shown up in the main comic yet. It'll get officially introduced in the comic once Kleya heads to log out of L.i.F.e. It's also the place where most people, especially Outsiders, show up first.

Since I'm figuring out the background, I draw it out first:

Yes, different color. I have this thing where each step needs to be in a different color. It helps me to keep things in order, I guess.

Next, I block in the people:

This is where I'm at currently. Perspective isn't a strong point of mine so this entire panel is one big experiment for me. Last time I attempted drawing multiple people and a complex background, I ended up creating the blobs! *laughs* Not sure if it'll turn out as awesome as it looks in my head, but it's going to be fun to attempt it!

Thanks again to everyone who is backing my project and spreading the word! You're all awesome!!


Posted by Aneeka (Creator)

We've reached 50%! How cool is that?? And we're not even halfway through the time. Yay!!  You guys are all awesome!

Here's the updated concept sketch:

We've reached the tips of her hands! As well as more of her skirt. A possible spoiler will start showing up in the $5,000-$6,000 range but I'll talk more about that once we hit that area.

Thanks to everyone for spreading the word, tweeting, liking, and making pledges! Couldn't have made it this far without you all. Thanks so much!

To Redraw or Not. Plus Progress!

Posted by Aneeka (Creator)

To redraw. What a terrifying temptation.

That was one of the biggest quandaries I faced while getting Book 1 ready for print. My current level of art is still short of jaw-dropping quality (the ever-elusive-dream for all artists, I'm sure), but it's much better than what's found in the first 50ish pages. I cringe so much while looking through those older pages that I could count it as exercise. But that exercise would be completely dwarfed by the huge task of redrawing all those pages. It no longer takes me 20+ hours to do one page, but it still takes a good 10 hours. That makes a minimum of 500 hours to update the old art.

I'm not much of a perfectionist when it comes to my drawing skills (I'd never get anywhere if I were), but putting things in unforgiving-forever-print does make one squirm. It almost made those 500 hours worth it if I could avoid having those exercise-worthy cringes for the rest of my life.

But then I reviewed the original, never-saw-the-internet, first 47 pages.  

Yeah, I'd forgotten they existed and had stumbled into their dusty exile by accident. They were my first private attempt to doing a webcomic. I wanted to see what type of schedule I could realistically aim for (I was hoping for 5 days a week, but was willing to settle for 3/wk. Ended up not even making one a week. *laughs*) while also attacking the sheer learning cliff of panel and page layout.

I gave up when I finally faced the truth that I truly had no idea what I was doing. Alas, I'm a stubborn person and ineptitude isn't that scary of a monster to fight. So I rolled up my sleeves and enrolled myself into a two-week, self-designed 'Drawing Camp' where I studied and practiced any tutorial I could find online about drawing comics.

Then I faced those dismal first 47 pages again. Surprisingly, there was much that I liked. Apparently, I had a talent for storyboarding even though I'd never done it before. Even now, two years later, I can see the story coming out despite the atrocious art -- and it gave me the answer I needed. I realized the art didn't really matter.

Yes, good art is helpful and I did end up redrawing those first 47 pages (though I did keep a lot of the old layouts) and yes, I'd improve a ton if I spent 500+ hours redrawing those earlier pages once again. However, that would be 500+ hours not focusing on the main reason I'm doing this webcomic: To tell a story. To tell Kleya's story, her pain and regret, and how she intends to right those wrongs.

I could easily end up redrawing pages over and over since my constant improvement will keep making older pages outdated and cringe-worthy. So in the end, I decided against redrawing. My art, while not currently awesome, is decent enough to get Kleya's story across. And if readers can get the story then the art is good enough for me. Even in the unforgiving print format.

Assuming we reach the goal, of course! We're up to 29% now. Yay!

And it's revealed that she has socks! Plus, you can see hints of the skirt she's wearing (yes, she likes skirts).

Thanks to everyone who's pledged, tweeted, shared, liked, and generally have been a great help toward my Kickstarter. You are all amazing! Thanks!

Keep spreading the word and let's see if we can find other amazing people who'd like to read Kleya's story and help out.

Thanks again!!